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Delray commissioners shelve noise ordinance overhaul

By Palm Beach

DELRAY BEACH — It could be back to the drawing board for Delray Beach’s proposed noise ordinance overhaul. Delray Beach city commissioners on Tuesday agreed to table the legislation after hearing from a stream of residents who asked for a delay in order to hold additional meetings on the issue.

At question is — primarily — the loud music that emanates from many of the city’s bars and restaurants into nearby neighborhoods, and the best way to regulate it while meeting the needs of the establishments and residents.

The ordinance would ban loud sounds after 11 p.m. on weekdays and after 1 a.m. on weekends. It also would create criteria police and code enforcement staff would use to determine when the noise becomes a nuisance. It also would allow for stiffer penalties for repeat violators.

Residents told commissioners that they hadn’t had to opportunity to be involved in the meetings that led up to the drafting of the ordinance. Others argued that the lack of specific standards would make the ordinance difficult to enforce.

Commissioners tabled the ordinance by a 4-1 vote, with Commissioner Adam Frankel casting the lone vote against. Commissioners also did not set a “time certain” to take up the matter again at a future meeting.

The widely popular SOFA apartment building project received a series of waivers from city regulations Tuesday evening. The Related Group is looking to construct two apartment buildings on Southeast 2nd and Southeast 3rd avenues that will provide a total of 172 units.

The SOFA project, in what is now considered a dead spot, in the city, is seen by residents to the south, particularly Osceola Park, as a “bridge” to Delray’s downtown. Planning and Zoning Director Paul Dorling recommended approval of most of the waivers but he did take exception to a request to allow one particular sidewalk be five feet wide instead of the standard eight feet. He said he would support a smaller width, but five feet would be too narrow.

Osceola Park residents and others attending the meeting, however, urged commissioners to approve the waivers so the project may proceed.

“I have a shovel, and I’m ready to help them,” resident James Quillan said.

Commissioners rejected for a second time a request for a waiver to “stacking distance” requirements for a proposed shopping center to be built on the north side of Linton Boulevard at SW 4th Avenue. The developer of the property wanted to reduce the distance between the street and the first parking space — the stacking distance — to about 29 feet from the required 50 feet. Dorling recommended approval, as did the city’s Site Plan Review and Appearance Board. However, commissioners said no, citing safety concerns because of a nearby neighborhood and a school.

Also Tuesday, commissioners:

— Approved first reading of an ordinance that would allow Tenet-owned Delray Medical Center to build a 60-foot high, four-story building and a five-level parking garage on its campus at Linton Avenue and Military Trail. The proposed building would have 140 private rooms, allowing the hospital to phase out semiprivate rooms and comply with patient privacy concerns. The additional height is needed because of higher-than-normal ceiling heights required to accommodate ventilation and other hospital systems.

— Approved final reading of an ordinance allowing service dogs in public buildings and places of business.

— OK’d first reading of an ordinance that puts the house at 170 Marine Way, known as the Marina House, on the local Register of Historic Places.

— Rejected a request to allow new owners to renovate the Beachway Motel at 655 George Bush Boulevard citing concerns about liens on the property, code violations turnover of ownership and the possibility the building could be used for something other than a motel.

Project architect George Brewer, who called the property an eyesore, said plans called for a portion of the building to be demolished to make way for new rooms and a manager’s office. The property would be landscaped as well. He said the only use for the property that makes financial sense is as a motel.

— Agreed to allow Tim Finnegan’s Irish Pub to extend its operating hours by two hours until 2 a.m. seven days a week. Tim Finnegan’s is located within Dumar Plaza at 2885 S. Federal Highway.

— Agreed to bring in the Florida Sports Foundation for a workshop on developing Delray Beach as a sports destination. The workshop was set for April 12.

— Approved a five-year deal to keep the Chris Evert charity tennis tournament at the Delray Beach Tennis Center. The agreement includes an opt-out for the city after three years.

— Agreed to host a Fed Cup “tie” or runnerup match between the U.S. and Sweden April 20-21 at the tennis center. The U.S. Tennis Association still must approve the city’s bid.

Under terms, the city would have to put up $150,000 to get the tennis match, most of which is likely to be covered by the Community Reinvestment Agency and the county’s sports commission/Tourist Development Council. Under the agreement, the city would get a share of revenue from the match if attendance hits certain levels.

Delray Beach made a bid to host a Fed Cup match but that bid was contingent upon a certain set of circumstances happening, including a U.S. win over Italy.  The U.S. team lost to Italy earlier this month. The tie match will determine if the U.S. stays in Fed Cup’s top grouping.

The Fed Cup is the women’s version of the Davis Cup.


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